The Sun is the source and sustainer of life, penetrator of
the darkness, warmer of the cold, nurturer of the seed deep
in the soil. Its rays reach out through the darkness of space
and night, and give warmth, light, and life to all they touch.
This is Ra (originally pronounced, “ray”). Ra is
the most high God. Out of the great "Ray" came countless
little rays, known as the sons and daughters of Ra. They are
godlings from the one God, created in its image and destined
to fill all the cosmos with light and life.
HERMES, the Moon
As the rays or godlings went forth, some lost their connectedness
to the great Ra. They moved too far into darkness. Their light
dimmed. The darkness overcame them. Their faces turned away
from the original light. All they saw were the shadows of life.
They needed help. Some power needed to help them recall the
original light, the original way, the original purpose. This
was the power of the moon god Thoth, or Hermes in Greek. This
power reflects the light to all things that have turned away
from the direct light.
Hermes is most often depicted as a powerful god with an ibis
head. The ibis is a bird who lives on the shore between the
two worlds of the deep water and the land. The two worlds are
emblems of the subconscious and conscious minds. The power to
live between these two is seen as important to living the true
life. Another little characteristic of the ibis is that it is
one of the few birds that can eat the serpent. Again, an important
metaphor for the developing godlings to recognize the need to
control their lower, self-seeking urges if they are to reunite
with the creator and the original purpose.
The ancient Egyptian is not speaking of the form and function
of the sun and moon in the third dimension. He is speaking of
their meaning in dimensions of mind and spirit. In dimensions
beyond the third, the sun and moon are emblems of deeper powers.
For the ancient Egyptian, light is consciousness -- a knowing,
understanding consciousness. Darkness is unconsciousness. Living
in moonlight is semi-consciousness, or self-consciousness with
no sense of oneness or connectedness with the source of light.
This teaching is expanded by the hidden message behind the
outward passage of the Sun. The rising sun represents the beginning:
light dawned in the still, silent darkness -- exactly as the
sun rises in the morning. This dawning light penetrated the
darkness and continued to its zenith, exactly as the sun rises
through the morning to noon. Throughout this period all faces
are turned toward the sun, receiving warmth, light, and life.
The creator’s power penetrates everything. Then, something
changes. The created, the godlings in Ra’s image, move
away from the creator in order to know themselves, find themselves.
The earth and the created move toward dusk. Shadows begin to
fall and lengthen. The created are left to themselves. Darkness
falls. Through the night souls deal with their innermost urges,
while danger nips at their heels, like a little serpent. In
Egyptian lore this little serpent is Apep, who nips at the heels
of Ra as he traverses the underworld of night and death, seeking
the horizon of resurrection and rebirth. There are many temptations,
many pitfalls. But, if the godlings hold in their hearts the
lightness of hope, trust, and selflessness, then they will become
light of heart and as a result they will glide above the serpent’s
bite and find the new horizon. The sun will break through the
night reclaiming all who are still looking, still believing.
Throughout the dark night of the souls, the moon helps remind
them of the continual existence of the true light. Despite the
darkness, the sun has never moved. We have moved. If one looks
at the moon and intuits the source of its light, then one knows
the sun still exists, the creator still exists, and will look
to the returning dawn.
ISIS & NEPTHYSIS, the two Guardians
To help with this great journey into darkness, two guardians
watch over each ray as it travels the earth, the underworld,
and the lower heavens. In Ancient Egypt, these guardians are
Isis and her sister Nepthysis. Isis is the power to hold the
thought of the Throne of God within one’s mind, whether
it be only a faint memory or a vivid image. She is often depicted
with the Throne of God on her head or mind. Nepthysis is the
magical power to know that the unseen forces are more powerful
than the seen, despite the appearance to the contrary. She is
often depicted with a bowl-like receptacle on a pedestal upon
her head or mind.
These two sisters are in every death scene, at the head and
foot of the body of the deceased. They are powerful influences
to help the freed soul find its way to the higher realms, higher
truths. They are also seen standing behind the great god of
the underworld, Osiris, pass whom all must go if they are to
enter the heavens. His judgment is exact; one’s heart
must be as light as a feather. If not, then one sinks into the
underworld and cycles through the darkness to another dawn,
and another opportunity to free oneself from heavy-heartedness.
ANUBIS, the sixth sense
When one has taken a long journey away from home, one can lose
the trail home. If one cannot find or recall the way home, then
one needs help. Anubis, the jackal-headed god, is the symbol
of that help. The jackal can pick up the scent of the trail
traversed to get here, and therefore the way home. At every
death scene in ancient Egypt, Anubis is depicted. He is the
sixth sense that recalls the way home.
OSIRIUS & SET, the two brothers’ tale
In Egyptian lore two brothers were born. One loved God and
cooperated lovingly with the creation. The other pursued self-seeking
urges and interests, and took advantage of the creation, giving
little thought to the consequences of his actions and appetites.
In Egypt these two brothers were Osirius and Set (sometimes
called “Seth,” and from which some Pharaohs took
the name “Seti”). Just as in the biblical story
of Cain and Able, Set grew jealous of Osirius and killed him.
ISIS, Conceiver of the Messiah
One of the greatest gods among the hosts of godlings was Isis.
She was strong, enduring, and clever. She was not to follow
the weaknesses of most of her fellow gods, seeking to mingle
with the sons and daughters of man and their carnal sensations.
Behold, Isis was in the form of a woman, skilled in words.
Her heart rebelled at the millions of men, she chose rather
the millions of the gods, and she esteemed the millions of the
spirits. She meditated in her heart, "Could I not be in
heaven and earth like Ra, and make myself mistress of the earth
and a goddess by knowing the name of the holy God?"
Isis had many adventures, but the greatest were the resurrection
of Osiris, the conception and birthing of Horus, and her struggles
with Set, the destroyer. The story goes like this:
Isis began as a modest divinity of the Delta (Isris). Because
of her intense seeking to maintain godliness in the midst of
humanness, she interacted with the great god Ra. From him she
cleverly gained wisdom and power (much to his surprise). After
Ra returned to the heavens, the god Osiris, her elder brother
in the family of gods, chose her as his consort and she shared
the throne with him. She helped him, as she had Ra, civilize
the earthly ones. She taught the art of curing disease, of growing
corn, spinning flax and weaving cloth, and marrying to form
a home in order to bring about some semblance of heaven in this
When Osiris went on a great journey around the earth, she remained
as regent of Egypt. She ruled so wisely and well that their
younger brother Set could not take over. However, Set was full
of self-seeking desires and so he cunningly convinced his older
and trusting brother Osiris to lie down in a coffin, whereupon
he killed Osiris, sealed the coffin and cast it into the Nile,
which carried it out to sea. It came to rest on a distant shore
at the base of a tamarisk tree. The tree grew around the coffin,
concealing it entirely within its trunk. When the tree was cut
down by the king of that distant land, it gave off such an exquisite
fragrance that its reputation spread around the world, eventually
reaching Isis' ears. When she heard of this fragrant tree, she
knew immediately that it was the essence of Osiris. When she
arrived in that land, the queen, Astarte, entrusted her newborn
son into Isis' care. Isis would have conferred immortality upon
the child if the mother hadn't broken the spell by her anguished
cries of terror when she saw Isis bathe the baby in purifying
flames. In order to calm the mother, Isis reveals her true identify
and intentions. The mother then convinces her husband, the king,
to give the trunk of the magnificent tree to Isis.
Isis drew forth the coffin from the tree, and the body from
the coffin. She bathed it in her tears and hid the body in the
marshes. But Set found the body and cut it into fourteen pieces,
scattering them far and wide. Isis, never discouraged, began
a patient search for the precious fragments, finding all of
them but the phallus, which had been eaten by a creature of
the earth who is forever cursed for this crime.
In a magical, mystical intermingling with the reconstructed,
reanimated body of Osiris, Isis conceives a child that will
grow to be the true heir to the throne, contesting Set's claim
to it. She then performs the first rites of embalming, restoring
Osiris to eternal life, ruler of the netherworld. She is assisted
in this rite by her sister Nephthys (who is also the wife of
Set), her nephew Anubis (who appears in all death scenes to
lead the deceased through the darkness), by Thoth, and even
by the yet unborn Horus.
When Set hears of this, he captures her and imprisons her.
With the help of Thoth, she conceals her pregnancy from Set
and escapes. She hides Horus in the marshes, raising him in
secret until he is strong enough to challenge Set (recalling
the raising of the baby Moses, who eventually challenges Pharaoh).
However, she has no means of supporting herself and her baby,
so she hides baby Horus among the reeds and goes begging all
day. One day, returning from begging, she finds baby Horus writhing
in pain and near death. Though unable to enter the marshes in
his real form, Set had assumed the form of a serpent and bitten
the baby. Isis is in despair. Now, feeling all alone in this
world -- her father and mother dead, her husband in the netherland,
her younger brother Set attacking her at every turn, and her
sister Nephthys married to Set -- there appears to be no one
who can help her. Isis therefore appeals to all mankind, calling
on the marshdwellers and the fishermen, all of whom come immediately
to her aid, weeping in sympathy, but powerless to help her against
Set's magic. Horus, symbolizing the purity and innocence of
the developing true heir, is now contaminated by the poison
of the cunning, self-seeking Set. This is the poison that separates
everyone who seeks self’s own desires without concern
Finally, Isis calls on the Most High God to intervene on behalf
of everything that is pure and true. The "Boat of Millions
of Years" draws level to her and interrupts its journey
for her. From out of the barque (boat) descends Thoth. After
expressing surprise that her magic is not able to cleanse the
child of the poison, he assures her that the power of Ra is
at her disposal.
Here Isis is meeting her own karma, for it was she who long
ago caused a serpent to bite Ra. Now her treasured child lies
poisoned and dying before her and she needs Ra's power to cure
Thoth tells Isis that when the barque stopped for her and Horus,
the Sun stopped and darkness came over all. The darkness will
not be dispelled until the barque moves again and the Sun shines
again. She and Thoth realize the significance of the sun's stopping
until Horus is cured: it means that if Horus dies, Ra's whole
creation will be annihilated and Set, the principle of evil
and the consciousness of darkness, will reign forever. Isis
wishes that she were Horus herself so that she would not have
to see the consequences of his death. Thoth, however, declares
that the magical protection enjoyed by Horus will henceforth
be equal to that of the Sun. Then, in the name of the Ra, Thoth
exorcises the poison from Horus' body, saying that the boat
of Ra will stand still, that there will be no food, that the
temples will be closed, that misery will never depart from the
world, that eternal darkness will reign, that the wells will
be dry, that there will be no crops and no vegetation until
Horus is cured. This powerful spell of the sun-god Ra, spoken
by the moon-god Thoth, conquers the poison, and Isis and all
mankind rejoice. Thoth then commends the child into their care,
saying that Horus is now the responsibility of all those who
live on earth.
This legend repeats the recurring theme of a great and perfect
creature who is misguided into activities that lead to its loss
-- sometimes the loss is in the form of death, sometimes in
banishment, sometimes in consciousness. Then, one who loves
the creature gives all their being to rebirth or resurrect the
lost one. This often takes the form of impregnating oneself
with the seed of the lost one and giving birth to its heir.
The young heir to the original creation is always in danger
of being poisoned, imprisoned, or misguided by the forces that
brought down the original creature. It takes enduring effort
to bring the heir to age in one piece. Then, the heir overthrows
the deceiver and rules forever -- the perfect creation again,
one generation removed, and presumably wiser.
This theme can be found in stories of most cultures on the
earth. It is the story of the children of God, who lost their
way and must, through great effort and many trials, become heirs
to their previous glory and destiny.
In this specific legend, Osiris is the original perfect one.
Isis is the mind and will that resurrects him in the seed of
the womb of her consciousness. Horus is the heir, always symbolized
in the same manner as Ra because he represents the living manifestation
of Ra (as did Osiris) and the heir to Ra's creation. Set represents
the deceiver, the ego, the self-seeking aspect of every person.
It destroys the perfect Osiris, wrestles with the struggling
Isis (the mind and will) and poisons the growing Horus. But,
enduring, Horus becomes the messiah that overcomes Set's influence,
forever -- with a little help from heaven (in the form of Thoth/Hermes
and the boat of father Ra).
HORUS, the higher mind and messiah
Because the rays or projections of consciousness from the original
consciousness have penetrated many aspects of the darkness,
there needs to be a new delineation. Therefore, consciousness
is identified in three levels. That which is the closest to
the personal self, that which bridges the personal self to the
original self, and that which is in the image of the original
self, the godling, the son or daughter of Ra. We use the terms
conscious, subconscious, and superconscious to identify these
levels of the mind.